The era of stigmatizing disabilities is over.
But that didn’t happen overnight—and the perception of developmental disabilities as innocent medical problems, not personal failures, is not yet internalized by all.
Still, society is starting to see the light.
When Hamaspik was founded, some people still called people with special needs by humiliating names and degrading epithets. Mainstream group homes for children and adults with disabilities were nearly non-existent. Pragmatic and individualized services were little more than sweet dreams and wishful thinking.
How the times have changed.
Hamaspik was founded as a small organization to serve people with developmental and intellectual disability, with its initial goal of establishing an ICF (Intermediate Care Facility) residence in upstate Monroe, New York.
In the two decades since its incorporation, Hamaspik has exponentially grown, establishing flourishing branches in Rockland County and New York City. As of spring 2013, the Hamaspik network operates 13 group residences, three Day Habilitation programs, the ever-growing HamaspikCare Licensed Home Care Services Agency (LHCSA) and a number of other social-services programs across the greater New York region.
It wasn’t long ago that people felt awkward when meeting individuals with special needs. Today, our communities are places of integration and acceptance, with thousands of families affected by disability enjoying the loving embrace of a society moving ever forward.
The years of neglect and isolation are behind us for good. And times of respect and compassion are here to stay forever.
Hamaspik is proud to have played its part in fostering that embrace.